Mol Cell Proteomics; co-auth.: PAF

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Nov;11(11):1123-39. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M111.014191. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Proteomic and transcriptomic profiling of Staphylococcus aureus surface LPXTG-proteins: correlation with agr genotypes and adherence phenotypes.


Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Staphylococcus aureus infections involve numerous adhesins and toxins, which expression depends on complex regulatory networks. Adhesins include a family of surface proteins covalently attached to the peptidoglycan via a conserved LPXTG motif. Here we determined the protein and mRNA expression of LPXTG-proteins of S. aureus Newman in time-course experiments, and their relation to fibrinogen adherence in vitro. Experiments were performed with mutants in the global accessory-gene regulator (agr), surface protein A (Spa), and fibrinogen-binding protein A (ClfA), as well as during growth in iron-rich or iron-poor media. Surface proteins were recovered by trypsin-shaving of live bacteria. Released peptides were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass-spectrometry. To unambiguously identify peptides unique to LPXTG-proteins, the analytical conditions were refined using a reference library of S. aureus LPXTG-proteins heterogeneously expressed in surrogate Lactococcus lactis. Transcriptomes were determined by microarrays. Sixteen of the 18 LPXTG-proteins present in S. aureus Newman were detected by proteomics. Nine LPXTG-proteins showed a bell-shape agr-like expression that was abrogated in agr-negative mutants including Spa, fibronectin-binding protein A (FnBPA), ClfA, iron-binding IsdA, and IsdB, immunomodulator SasH, functionally uncharacterized SasD, biofilm-related SasG and methicillin resistance-related FmtB. However, only Spa and SasH modified their proteomic and mRNA profiles in parallel in the parent and its agr- mutant, whereas all other LPXTG-proteins modified their proteomic profiles independently of their mRNA. Moreover, ClfA became highly transcribed and active in fibrinogen-adherence tests during late growth (24 h), whereas it remained poorly detected by proteomics. On the other hand, iron-regulated IsdA-B-C increased their protein expression by >10-times in iron-poor conditions. Thus, proteomic, transcriptomic, and adherence-phenotype demonstrated differential profiles in S. aureus. Moreover, trypsin peptide signatures suggested differential protein domain exposures in various environments, which might be relevant for anti-adhesin vaccines. A comprehensive understanding of the S. aureus physiology should integrate all three approaches.